Today we deal with the man, the myth, the legend. The God. Loki. Loki has been in Marvel Crisis Protocol for quite a bit, but I think he has been overlooked for what he truly is: a spider in disguise.
To start, let’s look at the stats
Loki is a 4 threat character with 5 stamina and 3/3/4 on both the injured and healthy side is a bit low for a four. However, he makes up for his low stamina with two defensive abilities in Trickster and I am a God! Both of these abilities give Loki a level of defense that is both consistent yet deceptive. For this exercise, we will compare him to The Amazing Spider Man. We will be using our good friend J.A.R.V.I.S for this simulation and using only Loki’s physical defense with I am a God! versus The Amazing Spider-Man just being amazing.
|Attack 1 Chance of getting hurt: Loki|
|Daze/KO||4 damage||3 damage||2 damage||1 damage||0 damage|
|Attack 2 Chance of getting hurt: ASM|
|Daze/KO||4 damage||3 damage||2 damage||1 damage||0 damage|
As you can see, the likelihood of being hurt is very close. While the differential between the two of taking zero damage is roughly 9%, the numbers come together very quickly after 1 point of damage and above at ~+/- 3%. When I first saw this I was kind of amazed at how the numbers worked out and then, admittedly, kind of mad. How is Peter Parker, a guy who, generally, only gets hit when he either wants to or isn’t paying attention on the same levels of defense as Loki, a god so boastful and unaware that he thought trying to intimidating the Hulk was a good idea. Yes, Peter has Witty Banter, but you can only use it once and it only has a 50% chance of negating 1 damage. Loki, on the other hand, has Trickster, which gives him a small move when attacked which, a good chunk of time in my experience, gets him comfortably out of harm’s way.
And we haven’t even gotten to Loki’s best abilities yet. #JusticeforPeterParker #Peterdeservesbetter #LokiLovesHorses
Anyway. Moving on to the true terror of this trickster god. Loki has a combination of abilities that make him uniquely troublesome for your opponent: Asgardian, God of Mischief, and Gem Bearer (Mind).
Loki with power is a problem. He becomes very hard to kill and this allows him to annoy your opponent and force difference exchanges than they normally would. Having access to a small advance on your enemy is, on most occasions, either a nifty stagger effect or it brings them into the jaws of your units to be eaten. Not only that, but having the Mind Stone on Loki gives him a staggering 3 power a turn in conjunction with Asgardian, which opens even more plays and opportunities to use Trickster and I Am a God!.
The true problem of Loki is his unique ability to have an AoE Root effect. Root is powerful and, in some instances, can shut down or completely hamper an entire army. Let’s take Black Order for example, everybody’s favorite boogeyman. And, admittedly, they are the boogeyman for good reason.
Part of the issue with fighting against Black Order is all the stuff they can do. Gems are free for Thanos, he has Cosmic Portals for days, Husbands and Wives are making out in public, whatever Ebony Maw is. But, with Loki on the board, Cosmic Portal becomes a once a turn occurrence most times, Gems out of nowhere start costing stuff, and all that free economy Black Order gets from just being the bestest bad dudes is sucked away by some dude who’ biggest boast at one time was that he ate really fast (look it up). This now forces Black Order to either avoid Loki or attempt to murder Loki. The first isn’t really viable considering he has an R8 diameter no-fun bubble. His ability to root you for free is massive and can only be shaken by running away from him like you run from that one smelly guy at a party who just won’t leave you alone. But, the murder option also is tough because putting Loki on his injured side out of nowhere makes the effect also Hex people. So, to recap, Loki at 5 power is as defensible as The Amazing Spider-Man, has a root and hex bubble, gets 3 power a turn, can move people, and we aren’t even talking about his attacks yet. #JUSTICEFORTHEAMAZINGSPIDER-MAN #WHYAMGWHY!
Anyway, I got a little carried away there. Status effects in Marvel Crisis Protocol range from the annoying to the game winning. Stagger is massive while Poison is kind of annoying. But Root and Hex are definitely on the better end of the spectrum. What makes Loki’s ability especially egregious is that you can’t shake them and his aura bipasses immunities. So, standing near an injured Loki takes away some of the value from Reality Gem, Space Gem, and Mind Gem while making Husband and Wife a true decision versus a near autotake, and cuts Corvus’ offensive capabilities. Just by living.
Now, let’s get to his attacks:
To be honest, there isn’t really anything spectacular with his attacks. You have a basic strike, a beam that hits weakly and gives slow if it deals damage, and a R4 attack that may, if you are lucky, move a character their movement speed to take off their glove and slap their friends. This is where Loki kind of fizzles for me. To make Frost Blast worthwhile you have to utilize I Am a God! to make it worthwhile and possibly deal damage to inflict its slow status.
But, let’s be fair, Loki isn’t a beater. Loki is here to annoy your opponent and stand around. It fits his character so well that it is almost poetic. But, he is so powerful that it astounds me how little he is being played. If you are looking for an aggressive support unit to make your opponent hate you and their decision to play this game, look no further than the god of mischief.
How I play Loki
I need you to say it with me. We don’t start the Loki, no no no. We don’t start with the Loki. Loki is not generally your first move. While he is sturdy with I am a God!, he will fall to an entire enemy team. I see his injured side as a deterrent to enemy attacks, not a get to it now because, just like on his healthy side, he will fall to enough concentrated fire. Keep Loki as your midline move early on, enough to move a character who has already moved and also be impactful with God of Mischief. After that, it is all by feel. If you want to create a zone of hate, move Loki there. Your opponent doesn’t want root on their models. It is a feel bad status. It ruins plans and math, and, in a game that is essentially about lines and math, messing with math means bad decisions will probably be made. So wherever the most havoc can be caused move Loki there and benefit from the next turn of mischief.
Loki likes missions where things are a bit tighter to really intrude on your opponent’s ability to perform and giving him a hammer actually makes him more of a bruiser and slow machine than you may have anticipated. A hammered Loki creates situations for your opponent where they may not be able to leave his bubble without just double moving, which may really ruffle and hamper their ability to get anything done.
So, missions where Loki can survive better like Extremis are good for him to just live with his I am a God, WW reroll, and healing by drinking stuff and good positioning means you have a large area for him to drink and piss people off. Just like my Uncle. Ah the memories.
Remember, at the end of the day Loki is, with power to spare, a tanky control piece that supports your team by messing with your opponents. He isn’t going to lay the smackdown like Hulk will, but he will prevent some of Hulks movement shenanigans just by standing around. Loki is a fantastic piece to add to rosters like Steve Avengers and Miles Morales in order to bring more battlefield control and make you the one in charge of where fights happen, if they happen at all.
Till next time Web Slingers.